About getting to Val Thorens by Train
It's surprisingly easy, quick and comfortable to travel overland by train...from and to just about anywhere. Especially between some of the major European cities.
The nearest train station to Val Thorens is Moutiers (full name Moutiers Salins Brides Les Bains - not to be confused with other stations in France called Moutiers!) which is about 35 minutes away by car or bus if you're staying in Les Menuires, or just under an hour to get to the centre of Val Thorens.
During the winter season (mid December to 1st week of April) Eurostar runs both a direct daytime and a direct overnight train from London St Pancras or Ashford in Kent to Moutiers. The direct daytime Eurostar leaves London / Ashford on Saturday mornings and arrives around 7-8 hours later in Moutiers. The direct return trains either leave on Saturday mornings or evenings to the UK and takes 7 hours for the morning train or around 9.5 hours for the overnight one. This direct day service is your best option as you won't need to change in Paris and find your way across the city from one station to another. For this reason it's incredibly popular and tickets sell out fast.
More Eurostar (non direct) trains leave London / Ashford and arrive into Paris-Gare Nord station around 2 hours later. You can then pick up a connecting regional train to Moutiers around 1-2 hours later (from a different station - Paris-Lyon) which arrives around 4-5 hours after that, in Moutiers. If you need to change from Paris Gare Nord to Paris Gare Lyon, you can use the Paris Metro or hop in a taxi. Getting from one to the other takes around 30 minutes, however you should try and build in an hour or more to make sure you make the connecting train.
Cross country trains also connect Moutiers to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, changing in Lyon, which takes around 6.5 hours. If you're coming from Lyon Part Dieu (across town from Lyon Saint Exupery airport) you can reach Moutiers on the regional trains which takes around 3 hours. If you've flown into Geneva, trains change either at Chambery, Bourg en Bresse or Lyon and then onward to Moutiers, which takes around 3-4 hours.
Once you've arrived in Moutiers you can pick up a shuttle bus, taxi or minibus transfer up into Val Thorens. Read more about Transfers to Val Thorens.
During the winter season Eurostar runs both a direct daytime and an overnight train from London or Ashford to Moûtiers Salins station (fares from £179). There are two Eurostar direct services weekly. The night service leaves London/Ashford on Friday evening and arrives in the French Alps early on Saturday morning (returns Saturday night/Sunday morning) while the day service leaves early Saturday morning from London/Ashford and arrives late afternoon (same for return). The tickets tend to book up very fast. A second option is to take a Eurostar to Paris or Lyon and take a French train (perhaps overnight from Paris) to Moûtiers Salins. From Moûtiers Salins you can arrange a minibus shuttle-transfer or take a taxi to resort.
Alternatively, Eurolines offers return London to Moutiers coach travel for as litle as £66 (30 day advance fare). This coach services allows 8 days' skiing by travelling overnight on Friday and returning overnight on Saturday.
Eurostar is the high-speed passenger train from London to Paris & London to Brussels, which travels via the Channel Tunnel. Not to be confused with Eurotunnel, the company which owns the Channel Tunnel whose car-carrying trains shuttle road vehicles across the Channel.
Run by Eurostar International Limited, the company is owned by SNCF French Railways (55%), SNCB Belgian Railways (5%) & 40% originally by the UK government but now sold to overseas investors. Eurostar carries passengers, not cars. They now run a direct train from London to Lyon, Avignon & Marseille between one and five times a week all year round. You can also get a train to Geneva, but with one change, that takes approximately 6-7 hours.
Eurotunnel however provides a quick and simple method to get you and your car from England to France. From Folkestone to Calais in only 35 minutes, it is the fastest way to get across (or under) the English Channel. There are around four departures every hour - book early to get the best prices.
If you are travelling with your bike, then see our Cycling Guide for information on taking you bike on the train.
The 'Train a Grand Vitesse' (TGV) is the high speed rail network of France. Reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, it's a great way to whip through the French countryside to your destination. Most journeys start in Paris, so if you are in the UK, you will need to take the Eurostar from London to Paris first (see above).
The SNCF website has the information for the TGV (high speed trains) & national rail service, or tgv-europe for all European train travel. TGV train tickets must be bought in advance. There are whole host of discounts available for families, seniors, and groups. Cats & dogs are allowed on the train for a fee.
Location: Val Thorens